Symphonic 1

Symphonic 1 is a reworking of some of the world’s most famous symphonies, ranging from the 18th century (Mozart, Handel) through to the Romantic era (Mussorgsky, Wagner).

Listen to five tracks from the album

From Richard Wagner’s opera Die Walküre, Ride of the Valkyries is most frequently heard as an instrumental piece, and it’s this version that we’ve adapted.

Valkyries are female figures in Old Norse mythology who decide the fate of warriors in battle. In its original setting, Ride heralds the arrival of four of them to transport the dead to Valhalla.

This piece was famously used in Francis Ford Coppola’s war epic Apocalypse Now.

Modest Mussorgsky’s Night on a Bare Mountain is a tone poem depicting a gathering of witches on St. John’s Eve.

Despite censure from his mentor, Mussorgsky was proud of the piece and inserted reworked elements into two later projects. However, Bare Mountain was never performed during Mussorgsky’s lifetime. The work only gained attention and popularity five years after his death when Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov published an arrangement of the piece.

In more recent times, the piece was featured in the classic Disney film Fantasia.

By the time Ludwig van Beethoven had completed Symphony No. 9, from which Ode to Joy is taken, he was completely deaf.

His final complete symphony, it’s one of his most popular works and Ode is one of its most recognisable sections.

It became the anthem of Europe in 1972, just one year after appearing in a particularly disturbing scene of Stanley Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange. It has also featured on the soundtracks of Die Hard and Raising Arizona.

In the Hall of the Mountain King is taken from Edvard Grieg’s musical accompaniment to the play Peer Gynt, and soundtracks a fantastical sequence in a troll king’s court. In the play, Peer Gynt is surrounded by gnomes and goblins as the king looks down upon the scene from his throne.

The piece starts slowly and quietly, played only by the lower registers of the orchestra, and a gradual increase in tempo and instrumentation leads to a frenetic finale.

It was famously used in a series of adverts for the theme park Alton Towers.

Originally composed for Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov’s opera The Tale of Tsar Saltan, Flight of the Bumblebee is often performed as an instrumental orchestral piece.

Due to its frantic tempo, it is notoriously difficult to play and breakneck speed performances are often used to showcase virtuosity.

The piece was the theme tune to the radio and television series The Green Hornet and also featured on the Kill Bill soundtrack.


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